Vancouver Whitecaps' Carl Robinson: Mauro Rosales is a "difference maker"

Chivas USA's Mauro Rosales salutes the fans

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports

Vancouver Whitecaps and Chivas USA traded experienced midfielders late on Thursday, with Argentine Mauro Rosales heading to the 'Caps and English veteran Nigel Reo-Coker going to California.

Rosales is being seen as a significant addition for the Whitecaps in their playoff push, with head coach Carl Robinson already highlighting the Argentine's ability to get past defenders and deliver telling crosses into the box as key reasons behind his acquisition.

"I've known Mauro a number of years from being in the league and what he brings to the table is quality and quality in the final third areas," Robinson told Vancouver's Team 1040 radio on Thursday evening. "Over the course of this season we've sometimes lacked that a little bit, of not being able to break opposition teams down because they've defended very well."

With 12 goals and 42 assists in his 107 MLS appearances to date, Vancouver see Rosales as one of the missing pieces needed for the Whitecaps to be amongst those challenging in the playoffs this season.

"His assist record is great. He's a great guy off the field as well, which is always important, and he's a difference maker. It's proven over a number of years while he was at Seattle, and since he's been at Chivas, that he consistently does it, so he'll help the young group of players that I've got. We're developing a group here and we want good professionals and he certainly fits into that category as well," Robinson said.

Rosales is expected to be immediately involved for the Whitecaps in some capacity this weekend in their game at the LA Galaxy (Saturday, 10:30 pm ET, MLS Live in US, TSN2/RDS2 in Canada) and Robinson feels that the 33-year-old midfielder will have no trouble fitting in to his new surroundings.

"He's a good player and players like having good, quality players around them," Robinson said. "There won't be a problem with him settling in. I've done some character background checks on him as well and everyone I've spoken to has spoken very positively on him."

The trade is being seen as a good bit of business for the Whitecaps, who will be adding a player who can make an immediate impact at the expense of one who was struggling to see much first team action. Reo-Coker has only played a bit part for the Whitecaps this season and Robinson sees the trade as being the best outcome for all parties.

"[It was] a number of factors really," Robinson explained about the background of the deal. "We're in a cap-orientated league, we're in a trade-orientated league. It was the right move for us as a club because Nigel's too good a player not to be playing. He started the season in the team, he had one or two unfortunate incidents in the early part of the season and lost his place.

"Since he's lost his place the emergence of Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba and Russell Teibert have found playing time very hard for him. So it was a decision based on that, the progression of these young players as well as Nigel needing to play."